Date: 2006 June 03 10:39
Posted by Jeremy
VIZ Media announces their new releases for the rest of 2006 at BookExpo.
VIZ Media, LLC announced a number of new titles and releases in the coming months at the recent BookExpo America (BEA) at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. BEA is an annual convention widely recognized as a leading gathering point for book publishers of all types. Located at Booth 2850, VIZ previewed a variety of highly anticipated new titles that they plan to release in the Third Quarter of this year.
Kicking things off this summer is "Naruto Anime Profiles", which will be available in July and will serve as a comprehensive addendum to the hit anime series. Detailing episodes 1-37, it will contain a variety of original illustrations and production art by series creator Masahi Kishimoto as well as provide answers to popular questions about the series. Coming in August from "Rurouni Kenshin" creator Nobuhiro Watsuki is "Buso Renkin", about teenager Kazuki Muto, who dies saving a young girl from a monster but is brought to life to join the Alchemist Warriors. Also coming in August is "Law of Ueki", the basis for the anime series about a boy who uses his power to turn trash into trees to fight other powered teens to determine the new King of the Celestial World as well as win the "Talent of Blank", which will grant the winner any talent of their choosing.
In September comes "Princess Mononoke Film Comics", based on the hit film from director Hayao Miyazaki. Set in the chaotic Muromachi Period, a young prince is infected with a fatal disease by a possessed boar god. Leaving his village to find the deer god in hopes of a cure, he gets caught up in a battle between the forest animals, lead by the wolf-raised Princess Mononoke, and the iron mining town that is exploiting and destroying the forest. With its environmental message and compelling plot and characters, "Princess Mononoke" is one of the best works of director Miyazaki, who also directed the Academy Award-winning "Spirited Away".
"Train Man: Densha Otoko" is the manga version of the hit film about a geek who finds love with the help of his online friends, allegedly based on actual Internet chatroom discussions. VIZ announced that they will release the book in October, along with "Shojo Beat Manga Artist Academy", where aspiring shojo manga artists can follow the adventures of main character Satomi Panda as she embarks on her own journey to manga stardom with the help of such greats as Yuu Watase ("Fushigi Yugi", "Absolute Boyfriend"), Mayu Shinju ("Sensual Phrase"), Rie Takada ("Happy Hustle High"), and Chie Shinohara ("Red River").
There’s more "Naruto" available in November. "Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood" is a novel version of the series, retelling the first adventures of the young ninja-in-training who learns he has an evil fox spirit dwelling inside him. It also contains a mini-poster. Also available in November is "Fullmetal Alchemist Anime Profiles", a guide that chronicles all 51 episodes for the series, containing character biographies, actual cel artwork, bonus artwork, production notes and a special full-color poster. Wrapping up the November releases is "Be With You", the hit novel by Takuji Ichikawa about a man whose wife suddenly returns from the grave and how his quest for answers reveals a link to the past and to the future.
"O-Parts Hunter" (original title "666 Satan") will be released in December, chronicling the adventures of Jio, who has to potential to use the O-Parts, relics from a lost civilization that mankind battles over in the not-too-distant future, and reluctantly teams up with treasure hunter Ruby to collect as many as they can.
The final book VIZ announced is "1 World Manga", Volume 4: Of Boys and Men. Set to be available in the Fall of 2006 with no set release date at this time, the new volume continues the adventures of young Rei as he’s kidnapped and forced to fight in an illegal army, along with other children taken from their homes and families. Struggling to survive is hard enough, but will Rei manage to escape and still take his fellow prisoners with him?
With such a variety of material to offer and the rising popularity of manga in the U.S., as evident by "Naruto"’s recent climb in the sales charts, VIZ looks to have a successful remainder of 2006. Only time, and consumer sales, will tell for sure.